Unusual duelling weapons

Of sausages, sugarcandy, daggers on helmets, sharp-bladed collars, pills, and billiard balls, with a note on zombie destruction.

Ray Girvan has come up with a story about Bismarck, the father of modern pathology, and a pair of sausages, I’m still quite pleased with the Catalan medieval exclusion of miraculous weapons, religious icons, and sugar candy (doping?) from judicial combat, while Baldick, whose standard work is extensively and incompetently plagiarised on the net, has inter alia:

  • Corsicans stabbing each other with daggers affixed to the front of their helmets, recalling the forehead butting popular along the Black Sea littoral.
  • A dwarf who demands that he and his huge Gascon opponent wear sharp-bladed collars, so that the latter will be unable to look down on him without decapitating himself.
  • Cagliostro, who challenges a supposed quack to Russian roulette with pills (I suspect there’s something more interesting behind this).
  • M Mellant, who kills M Lenfant at x paces with a red billiard ball in Seine-et-Oise in September 1843.

One of the subthreads to last night’s Zombieland (h/t G) was Woody Harrelson’s search for Twinkies, which I thought meant that he viewed them as a sugar-candy-type anti-zombie accessory and that he fancied Jesse Eisenberg. Unfortunately neither turned out to be true, but it’s hard to go wrong with zombies, and some scenes greatly pleased one’s inner 13-year-old. For example:

Unfortunately duelling pianos are rarely that satisfying.

Similar posts

Last updated 18/07/2012

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Alessandro Cagliostro (1): Count Alessandro di Cagliostro was the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo. Cagliostro was an Italian adventurer and self-styled magician.

Duel (1):

Kaleboel (4307):

Otto von Bismarck (1): Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck), was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. In 1862, King Wilhelm I appointed Bismarck as Minister President of Prussia, a position he would hold until 1890, with the exception of a short break in 1873.

Rudolph Virchow (1):

Twink (gay slang) (1): Twink is gay slang for a young man in his late teens to early twenties whose traits may include: general physical attractiveness; little to no body or facial hair; a slim to average build; and a youthful appearance that belies an older chronological age.

Twinkie (1): A Twinkie is an American snack cake, marketed as a "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling".

Zombieland (1): Zombieland is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.


  1. On a more popular level, there’s that Dahl story of the woman who kills her husband with a frozen chicken and then serves it to the police.
    Am currently reading The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (chapter 2) and see a lot of sorcery is used in battles.

  2. Lamb to the Slaughter is actually about, well, a frozen lamb leg. It’s simply handier. But I do like the chicken thought!

  3. I don’t believe Candide’s garden is cloistered, yet.

    Are there any records of deaths administered by leg of lamb before Roald Dahl and freezers? Have there been copycat killings?

  4. @Trebots. You’re right, although many, there is no evidence.
    It’s incredibly difficult commenting on this site, you know, especially twice.

  5. @Candide
    My apologies – didn’t mean to be rude.
    I believe you’re thinking of the death of Ham, aren’t you? Or are you referring to the death of Mama Cass Elliot? It isn’t true that she choked on a ham sandwich.

  6. Curse spammers.

    It is curious that the speakers of what used to be called Hamitic languages generally abstained from pork products.

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